Workers building the Hinkley Point C nuclear power plant in Somerset can look forward to higher bonuses after the Unite union and the plant’s employers agreed a fresh pay deal for staff on the £18bn project.
Discussions between the developers and Unite have resulted in EDF and the site’s contractors agreeing an interim deal, which will see Unite workers offered bonuses of up to £4-an-hour based on productivity and performance milestones.
The contractors to have agreed the deal are BYLOR, a joint venture between Bouygues and Laing O’Rourke, and a Kier / Bam JV currently carrying out the groundworks at the Somerset site.
Unite warned last month that the construction of the plant could face delays unless bonuses were agreed at a level that would be sufficient to attract new workers.
The union argued that the bonus rate offered by the project’s main contractor BYLOR had failed to offer a bonus rate in line with the spirit of the Hinkley Point C Civil Construction Agreement.
At the time, the unions claimed Kier and Bam had not been present at the negotiation table.
Unite confirmed today that after “constructive discussions” with Hinkley Point C employers, an interim deal had been struck over bonus payments.
The deal will see workers paid the agreed bonus rates until the end of August, while a panel of union and employer representatives agrees a long-term solution for bonuses.
The new bonus payments will see working supervisor and craft grades paid bonuses of £4 an hour based on performance, while skilled worker grades will receive £3 per hour and general workers £2 an hour.
The ‘Differences Panel’ will consist of union officials and a senior EDF Energy executive, who will examine the issue of bonuses and aim to reach an agreement agreeable to all parties.
Unions have agreed not to carry out any industrial action while these discussions are ongoing.
EDF Energy construction delivery director for Hinkley Point C Nigel Cann said: “We have created great facilities, an opportunity to develop and a very competitive reward structure.
“We are pleased that these interim arrangements allow constructive dialogue to continue to finalise this important agreement.
“Unite the Union has been a constructive partner in the discussions to date and I look forward to this continuing throughout the construction of the Hinkley Point C power station.”
Unite acting national officer for construction Jerry Swain said: “I am pleased that following consultation with our stewards and members that we along with the various parties have been able to agree a clear path forward and that the prospect of industrial action, which is always a last resort, can be taken off the agenda in order to allow the ‘Differences Panel’ to deliberate.”